It is a phenomenon that has frustrated progressives for years; rather than taking a strong stance on important issues and doing what is right, Democrats are more often obsessed with appearing unified and playing nice.
This means that while progressives are pushing for brave legislation that would help millions, Democrats are far more likely to bully leftists and refuse to get on-board. Even when faced with the most corrupt administration in U.S. history, Democrats in the establishment arena are eager to blame their woes not on the Republicans, but on the leftists who bolster their own party.
On Thursday, amid a sea of other political goings-ons, the Senate voted nearly unanimously to increase U.S. sanctions against both Russia and Iran. The move was only opposed by two Senators: Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders.
Both fringe politicians, it’s not surprising that Sanders and Paul would have taken an ideological stance against the sanctions, but what is surprising is the level of ire Senator Sanders faced for standing up for his principles.
On the simplest level, for Sanders to have defied the anti-Russia hysteria constantly pushed by the Democratic party is tantamount to treason. How dare he take a cautious, de-escalating stance on such a major issue! Mainline Democrats are already eager to blame Sanders for everything else, so why not turn this small political action into a major snafu?
One of the biggest critics of Sanders’ vote was Peter Daou, the definition of a centrist extremist if there ever was one. Daou served as an adviser for Clinton in 2008 and is known online for his extreme loyalty to the Democratic establishment. As such, he was eager to tear Sanders for standing against the party line.
Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul were the ONLY TWO VOTES **AGAINST** the Russia sanctions bill. Bernie was out of sync with every Dem senator. https://t.co/3DnLWiOtav
— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) June 15, 2017
Sanders gave a reason for his Thursday vote, noting that while he supports sanctions both for Russia and Iran – and has voted in support of such sanctions in the past – this particular set of sanctions poses a threat to nuclear deals made between the United States and Iran in the past.
Bernie Sanders explains his no vote — one of only two in the Senate — on Russia/Iran sanctions: pic.twitter.com/rHOou7ObZb
— George Zornick (@gzornick) June 15, 2017
“That is not a risk worth taking,” said the Senator in his statement.
Of course, to mainline Democrats, taking a risk and voting recklessly in the name of unity is always a good risk. Thankfully, progressives have a more level-headed man to follow.